Just shy of 3 years ago I was deployed and loving every bit of my unit, my friends, and my make shift home away from home. A little more than half way through this deployment and after many events had ensued, I blew my knee out. My first major injury, first ambulance ride, first of a long road of healing I wasn’t expecting.
Only 10 days later, I was sexually assaulted by a “friend”, a coworker, a “brother”, a fellow airman, someone I trusted. He met my mom via FaceTime, he helped me walk, he took advantage. I was in so much pain both physically and emotionally that I had decided that I was done. I was so far from home that I assumed I would just be another military member that took their life and no one would think otherwise. I had hands full of painkillers provided to me and enough liquor to do what I intended, when my phone rang.
It was my best friend that I hadn’t heard from in awhile. All it took was a “I had a gut feeling, are you okay, what’s going on?” And that stopped me. A simple act of kindness, a simple “are you okay” changed everything. Fast forward three more long, awful, and hard months of being deployed later I made it back home….alive.
A few weeks later, I got the phone call. The soul that saved my life was no longer with us. I was angry, hurt, and didn’t understand. I begged and pleaded with God to take my life and bring her back knowing it doesn’t work like that. I still question to this day, why her? Why not me?
So every day, I choose to stay in her memory. I feel like I have to live to keep her memory alive, to let people know how pivotal she is in my story, and to make sure her life is never forgotten. We fought our country, we fought battles that are insurmountable, and yet I am alive because she decided to call me in that moment.
So I tell my story, here, for the first time, so that people can see another perspective and make the choice to stay, to promise to stay.
Story submitted by Amber F.